It appears Hindraf has finally ended its silence on the matter, with Waythamoorthy issuing a stern statement warning the Penang governent and Pakatan Rakyat as a whole, that it will withdraw its support for them if the village is demolished.
Pakatan Rakyat rose to power with a so-called promise to bring 'justice' to the people. They championed the issues of the day, promising the moon and the sky. Now, when they ARE in power, they are struggling to deliver. I hope they now know that it is always easy to stand and shout. It is actions that count.
I attach below two articles from Malaysiakini on the matter.
|Hindraf warns Penang gov't over 'High Chaparral'|
|Athi Veeranggan | Jun 28, 09 3:26pm|
|The Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) today called on the Penang Pakatan Rakyat government to end the predicament of some 300 ‘Tamil High Chaparral’ Kampung Buah Pala residents.|
Or else the influential movement would withdraw support for the coalition in future electoral battles, warned its London-based leader, P Waythamoorthy.
He urged Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to heed to the call made by villagers and civil societies to gazette the ‘Tamil High Chaparral’ as a living cultural heritage urban village.
According to Waythamoorthy, the DAP-led state government should not push Indian Malaysians to a corner, like what Barisan Nasional had done all these years.
“Otherwise, Pakatan Rakyat and Penang government would face Hindraf’s wrath in the next election,” he told Malaysiakini today.
Waythamoorthy slammed Lim’s administration of not fulfilling its responsibilities to end the impasse and for its unwillingness to resolve the villagers’ quandary.
He chided the state government for not showing any interest to preserve the last remaining Indian traditional village in Penang.
“It’s a clear attitude of arrogance ... forgetting the plight of the poor and defenceless after winning the general election.
“The DAP-dominated state government has betrayed the people’s trust. It has failed to protect the weak and the marginalised,” said Waythamoorthy.
He said Hindraf could not comprehend the state government’s nonchalant attitude on the issue, especially when the state government had acknowledged existence of possible wrongdoing in the village land deals.
The Penang government has set up an investigating team headed by Deputy Chief Minister 1 Mansor Othman to probe into the land deals.
Waythamoorthy smacked the Pakatan coalition of falsely portraying itself as champions of justice, fairness and equality when the villagers’ unresolved dilemma proved that the Penang government had failed to “walk its talk.”
“What’s happening in Penang is pathetic. The state government has deliberately refused to exercise its executive powers to protect the village as a heritage,” said the self-exiled human rights leader, who plans to return Malaysia by next month.
Land taken over by BN state gov’t
The current residents and their ancestors have lived in Kampung Buah Pala in Bukit Gelugor, for nearly 200 years, which originally was a housing trust under the Housing Trust Act of 1950.
The original owner of the once coconut plantation area, David Brown, had gifted the land to the current villagers' forefathers.
However, after independence, the Barisan Nasional state government took over the village as the land trustee and collected temporary occupational licence (TOL) rents until 2005.
In that year, the land office alienated the land to the state government before it was subsequently sold for some RM3.21 million to a civil servants cooperative society, the Koperasi Pegawai Kanan Kerajaan Pulau Pinang.
The cooperative has subsequently engaged Nusmetro Venture (P) Sdn Bhd to develop a lucrative housing project, the Oasis.
Early this month, the village residents' association lodged a report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission alleging fraud in the land alienation and transfer carried out by the northeast district land office.
The villagers now face eviction on July 2 after their appeal to annul the land deals and stop the Oasis project was dismissed by the Federal Court.
Waythamoorthy said Hindraf would hold DAP and its allies accountable for their inaction.
He said Hindraf faced difficulties in explaining to the Indian masses on the deliberate inaction of the state government to exercise the powers conferred upon it by National Land Code and Land Acquisition Act.
The Hindraf chief rebuked claims that the Kampung Buah Pala residents were arrogant for not accepting the compensation initially proposed by the developer.
He said the villagers have only asked for the authorities to protect their constitutional rights to live in their ancestral village.
“Is this too much to ask from a state government which portrays itself as a people’s government?” asked Waythamoorthy.
Waythamoorthy’s elder brother, P Uthayakumar, who is legal advisor to Hindraf, paid a visit to the embattled village early this month. (photo)